Happy New Year! Goodbye 2020, hello 2021! We had a quiet New Year's Eve As a new year begins, many of us think back on what went right and wrong about the past year. There have been so many major events this year, including (in no particular order):
The Australian brushfires, the death of Kobe Bryant, the impeachment of president Trump, the covid-19 pandemic, another oil crisis, major shut downs of the economy and small businesses, one of the fastest stock market crashes followed by one of the fasts bull market recoveries, travel bans, PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages, toilet paper shortages, cancelled holidays, distance learning school, Black Lives Matters protests, Joe Biden’s presidential election win, the fires in California, president Trump testing positive for covid-19, and finally the rollout of new covid-19 vaccines.
Our lives have been forever changed by the events of this past year. Everyone has been affected by this pandemic, although not equally. So many family gatherings and trips have been cancelled. We have friends that have been unemployed since March. My wife gets to work from home now. All office meetings are done online through a web camera. Some friends have contracted covid-19 and have family members that have had to be hospitalized. Many of us want to completely forget 2020 and move on.
Did you have a good December 2020?
With the air quality clearing up around here, this has been the month of visiting playgrounds. There are several playgrounds to explore around our neighborhood. We bring masks for the kids and lots of hand sanitizers. We also try to make outdoors time a regular part of our kids’ routine. They love getting outside and exploring.While inside, our kids have been painting and drawing. We celebrated Christmas at home this year, without any outside family members. We haven’t seen any of our family since last Christmas due to covid-19 concerns. We took our family to a Christmas lights drive thru event, complete with animated lights and holiday music. The kids had a blast!
This month our little girl turned 3 years old! We are so proud of her and it’s been quite a fun journey having her in our lives. As typical during the pandemic, we had a little celebration at home and FaceTimed with our family.One of my highlights this year was getting my first shot of the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine. I’m looking forward to getting my second shot on January 11th. I will definitely feel much more comfortable visiting family after I am vaccinated.Here’s our monthly summary of side income that we have generated in the previous month of December.
On 12.1, my wife received a $20 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum credit card. This was for $20 back on wireless phone purchases after spending $20+. We made a pre-payment to our wireless bill at the end of November, and she got the credit on this date.
On 12.1, my wife received a $14.99 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum credit card. This was an AMEX offer for up to $20 back on streaming services per month. We enjoyed a free month of HBO Max.
On 12.2, my wife received a $1.99 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum credit card. This was an AMEX offer for up to $20 back on streaming services per month. We enjoyed a free month of Hulu.
On 12.5, my wife received another $20 statement credit on her AMEX Platinum credit card. This was for $20 back on wireless phone purchases after spending $20+ in the month of December.
On 12.22, I received a $9.43 statement credit on my Citibank ThankYou credit card. Citibank offered me 5% on online purchases for the month of December.
On 12.31, I received a $1.47 statement credit on my Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card from Chase Offers. This was for 10% back at purchases made at McDonalds.
On 12.5, we received a net profit of $700 from our rental property. The increase in monthly cash flow is due to our recent rental property mortgage refinance.
On 12.5, I received a $3 Amazon gift card from MyPoints.
On 12.7, I received a $20 check from M3 Global Research for completing a medical survey.
On 12.9, I received a $50 direct deposit from GLG Survey for completing a medical survey.
On 12.11, I received a $30 check from M3 Global Research for completing a medical survey.
On 12.11, I received a $20 check from E-Rewards Medical for completing a medical survey.
On 12.19, I received a $220 check from M3 Global Research for completing a live panel discussion.
On 12.14 I received a direct deposit of $494.85 for picking up extra hours of work with my employer. They needed extra coverage and the extra income is appreciated.
On 12.18, I received a $1,000 check for consultation income that I do on the side.
On 12.31, I received a direct deposit of $247.50 for picking up extra hours of work with my employer
On 12.4, we received a check for $1,074 from Midwest Refineries. We sold them 0.675 oz of old gold jewelry, and received 95% market value ($1,767/oz) of gold. Midwest Refineries is the easiest way to get rid of old and unwanted gold, silver and platinum jewelry - even Mr. Money Mustache recommends them!
On 12.4, I received a net profit of $15.63 from eBay for selling an old Nokia phone.
We earned $67.88 from cash back income
We earned $740 from rental income
We earned $3 from miscellaneous income
We earned $340 for completing online surveys
I earned $1,742.35 from extra employment income
We earned $1,089.63 from selling used items online
All of this totals $3,982.86 from our side hustles for the month of December!
Side hustle totals:
This is now the 7th year that we have been tracking our side hustle income. Here are the numbers:
In 2020, we earned $25,563.67
In 2019, we earned $14,181.54
In 2018, we earned $14,802.47
In 2017, we earned $15,307.76
In 2016, we earned $24,195.44
In 2015, we earned $19,178.54
In 2014, we earned $28,633.42
This side hustle income adds to our quality of life and increases the amount that we are able to save and invest towards our financial freedom. This year, our investments surpassed 600K as we continue to get closer to financial freedom.
This past year I met my goal of focusing more on reading for pleasure. I have been reading an average of 1 book every 2 months. We have read our kids tons of books, every single day. We check out all these books from the local library for free!
For 2021, I want to continue maintaining my habits on reading and fitness. Ever since I read Atomic Habits by James Clear, I have been working on creating and staying consistent with better habits. One current habit I am proud of is that I have exercised every single day since April 1st, 2020. I have not missed a single day. Doing pushups, weight lifting, chin ups and pull ups are just a normal part of my everyday routine – like flossing and brushing my teeth. At this point in my fitness habit, it’s easier to keep the trend going than to stop and start again. I wrote my review of Atomic Habits here.
As we begin our journey into 2021 I hope we all take a moment to reflect on where we’ve been and plan out where we want to go. I am looking forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for us.